The new realities of this chaotic world have forced every business and every organization to examine the basic assumptions of their business models. Smart ones are furiously re-structuring to figure out how to survive and grow. Clear that business as usual is obviously dead and is killing many stubborn industries, companies and organizations. A mindset of–"Can't wait until we get back to normal"-is destroying the careers and prospects of individuals as well. People who have stopped evolving and waiting for the world to accommodate them are making fatal judgments.
Whether you are a new college grad or someone re-tooling for the next chapter, you need a new model. You need to question and reset your goals, metrics, and assumptions. Please do not interpret this as a scaling back of your aspirations or a lowering of your sights. But we have to eliminate any shred of the yearning for the days gone by. There is no normal that will return. It is gone and it was replaced with change and more change.
Adapt or Die!
This is not just about the fittest and the fastest–although it's good to be both. It is about adopting and embracing the need to constantly and continuously change. Not just improve, but change.
With this in mind, you have to re-engineer your career business model, your networking business model. What you want is to have the tools and temperament to not only endure but excel through transitions.
I have always loved Jim Collins' Hedgehog model from Good to Great. As an organization: You have to have Passion. A desire to be the Best. An Economic Engine/model that sustains and grows you. And in the nexus of all parts you have to have a BHAG—Big Hairy Audacious Goal.
These powerful concepts are very relevant to one's career as well. But in the spirit of getting you from good to great, I have interpreted and adapted this model by adding dimensions more applicable to you, the individual and to the world today.
I always see my networking model as a constellation of factors and elements that influence the gravitational pull of my career. All of them orbit around my network. Since my network is not static these orbits and dimensions have and will change. These factors or values comprise my business model:
- My Network:This is the platform for everything. Your family, friends, connections, and contacts influence everything. The more robust and diverse this platform of human interconnections is, the more robust your opportunities will be.
- My Passion(s):What you love and truly care about has to drive your world. Nurturing and feeding the issues, causes, pleasures, and joys that give you energy and emotional sustenance has to be a big part of your life. (The pink circles are your curiosities or interests that could become passions)
- Mentor(s):Identifying and maintaining relationships with the people who will give you the truth about you. Not cheerleaders but honest purveyors of tough love.
- Money:We all need financial resources to live and to enjoy our lives. How much and how big this planet is in your constellation should probably change with time and priorities. Understanding the difference between money and how we get paid in our lives is gigantic. More money for the sake of more money does not make sense. So having very specific goals around how much money you need make this model work the best.
- My SKA (Skills, Knowledge, and Abilities): This is your toolbox. It deserves constant and continuous attention. Knowing yourself and your talents, your strengths, and your weaknesses is critical. Sharpening what is there and adding new tools. Then becoming the best you can be.
Purpose: From all of these elements and your dedication to pursue them with courage and conviction, purpose and meaning emerge. Leading an authentic life of understanding yourself by understanding others. Pursuing your passions with passion. Defining your work and your worth selflessly. And then everything defines your pupose–the meaning of your life. It is not your job or even your career. It is is the way you live, how you live, who you help, and the difference you make.
The key here is building your model on a growing and dynamic platform–your network. A network that enhances these elements. Connecting and reconnecting with people that help you focus and advance your goals and your constellation of opportunities. A network that you help without expectation or obligation. A network that makes you better by holding you accountable and inspiring you to do more.
Isn't it time to evaluate your model? How does your model look? And how do you want to change it? What elements are lacking and need to be stronger? What elements are more solid and reliable? You are in control of this model and your challenge is always, in every moment, actively managing and adapting it to who you are becoming and the need of the world around you.
Thanks for reading. John